US group enters the fray, raises alarm about ‘Kill the Boer’ chant

Controversial song Kill the Boer, known for its provocative lyrics, has attracted significant international attention amid the ongoing blame game.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organisation dedicated to combating hate, is the latest to raise the alarm about the song.

This after South African-born business magnate Elon Musk prompted the ADL to address the issue of worldwide anti-semitism.

In response to the prod, the ADL also directed its attention towards the South African protest chant Kill the Boer, aiming to address allegations of it promoting white genocide.

In July, EFF leader Julius Malema was seen in a video that went viral on social media singing the song during his party’s 10th anniversary celebration rally at the FNB stadium.

The incident triggered strong reactions from civil organisations like the AfriForum and political parties including the DA.

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director of the ADL, acknowledged that while the song was originally sung with the intention of challenging the oppressive apartheid system, it also contains elements of discrimination.

He pointed out that its lyrics can be interpreted as advocating for violence.

Greenblatt proposed that public figures and leaders should avoid employing words that carry discriminatory connotations.

The ADL leader not only criticised those who are defending the song’s use and persistently singing it during public events, particularly by the EFF, but he also singled out individuals who have taken the song’s lyrics literally.

He emphasized that denouncing the song could potentially be seen as a way to rationalize the racial hatred black people endured during the apartheid era, which ultimately led to the composition of the contentious song.

“At a time of intensifying political tensions worldwide, we see time and again that words matter, and people, especially those in public life, should refrain from expressions that invoke the threat of violence,” he said.

“Such rhetoric can prompt real-world consequences. This is true in the physical world. This is true on social media, including X. It has no place.

“At the same time, baseless claims of ‘white genocide’ have been made by right-wing extremists in the US, particularly white supremacists, for many years.

“Such wild charges have been used to excuse hate, to justify harassment, and to rationalize violence. This is an issue ADL has tracked for decades – and we will continue to call it out.”

It is not the first time the song has caused a stir in democratic nation South Africa.

In August 2022, Malema won a court battle after AfriForum litigated against his party for singing the struggle song during the Brendin Horner murder case in Free State in 2021.

Horner was strangled to death on the farm he managed.

During trial, AfriForum argued that the song constitutes hate speech. The lobby group further said the song incited violence and posed a danger to white farmers.

However, Malema has since submitted that the song was taken out of context, explaining that it actually forms part of the country’s heritage and does not amount to giving a command.

He said when EFF members were singing, they never said “Kill the Boer” but instead chanted ‘Kiss the Boer”.

Handing down his judgment on Thursday, judge Edwin Molahlehi found that there was no evidence or testimony showing that the song directly incited violence.


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